Manufacturing systems have attracted substantial research attentions during the last 50 years. In recent years, there has been growing interest in health care systems research to improve efficiency, safety and care quality. The similarities identified between manufacturing systems and health care delivery systems heighten the importance of transferring the experience and knowledge in manufacturing to health care. In this paper, based on the lessons we learned and the experience we obtained during our journey from production systems research to health care delivery systems study, we discuss the similarities between production systems and health care delivery systems in system modelling, design, performance evaluation and continuous improvements and investigate the differences and difficulties that stem from variability, constraints, dynamics and human behaviour. Building upon these, the opportunities encompassing care operations, planning and scheduling, patient transitions, and safety and teamwork in health care delivery systems are discussed. Finally, the challenges and future directions are proposed. We expect this work to serve as a catalyst to stimulate more in-depth and comprehensive studies.
- health care delivery system
- production system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering